Best OCR and Mud Runs in NY
As we come up on the year anniversary since the COVID pandemic shut down most of New York’s fun activities, including most of the OCR world as a whole- let’s catch up on what we’ve missed, what’s been different, and what we have to look forward to (muddy fingers crossed!).
The main players in the OCR industry (Spartan, Tough Mudder, and the other usual bigs), with their size possibly to their detriment in hosting larger races, had just about all their US events canceled out for 2020. It seemed that every week last Spring delivered another email of the same cancellation apologies, until just about all hope was given up to have a solid race season. A select few larger series did manage to squeeze in a few summer or fall races in various parts of the country, but under new protocols and attendance limits to adhere to local safety policies. In NY, one of the hardest-hit regions of the initial COVID outbreak, those events were much fewer and farther between. Where I personally would hit at least half a dozen races in the Empire State, all on my schedule were canceled except for one of my annual favorites- Viking Race in upstate Greenville, which actually held a few events.
With the huge undertaking of incorporating new safety procedures, adjusting dates for canceled events, and then the massive logistics headache of accommodating literally thousands of paid race entries, most of the surviving OCR brands look to be making their comeback and we’re all the more excited for it. As people make their return to live racing, most of these OCRs are being very considerate of accepting 2020 event credits and also lenient around waiving deferral fees for changing dates to other preferred dates and events. A handful of smaller local events in still have yet to put out their dates, so while we keep an eye out for Viking Race, Newbsanity, Survival Race, Titan Run and others to hopefully make announcements soon, most of the big boys all had* some NY events set for 2021:
5/15 Spartan CitiField Stadion | Flushing, NY (postponed- TBD)
- One of the original Spartan stadium races, nothing like running through the massive home of the NY Mets, nestled within the biggest city in the country
6/12-13 Spartan Sprint | Bethel, NY
- The new location of the Tri State Sprint formerly held at Tuxedo Ridge since 2011, now set on the famous land where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place
6/19 BoneFrog | Hillsdale, NY
- Another new location race from the Navy SEALs run race which was supposed to happen in 2020- should be a great course on Catamount Mountain ski resort
6/19 Rugged Maniac | Brooklyn, NY
- An entry level race run on the frequently visited former airplane hanger runways of Aviator Sports Park, much of which is pavement but includes some flat grassy sections
7/17-18 Tough Mudder | Old Bethpage, NY (canceled)
- Moved again after 2019’s heat wave cancel, then the 2020 pandemic, this race again got taken out in 2021 due to local permit issues extending from COVID
- Another venue on Long Island which has hosted this series many years, but also BoneFrog and the local Survival Race- a great place with a variety of terrain
And of course while this story focused on just my home state, only within a few hours drive this OCR web extends to dozens more venues which have held or are planning to put on races in NJ, CT, PA, MA, RI and VT. Lucky to live here and have so many race options… on a normal, non worldwide pandemic year, that is!
Kevin “Mudman” LaPlatney has been involved in the muddy obstacle course racing world since 2010, and plans to reach his 200th race event this coming year. He lives on Long Island where he also owns the region’s only OCR and ninja warrior gym, Obstacle Athletics (Deer Park NY).